(Brassica oleracea) By far, one of the most interesting vegetables to grow in your garden! The Romanesco, known as Romanesco cauliflower, romanesco broccoli, or calabrese romanesco, grows in a complex and beautiful fractal pattern. A must have for many chefs.
This lime green variety is also one of the best tasting, with a nutty flavor and tender texture.
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Start indoors 3-4 weeks before average last frost. Sow outdoors 4-6 weeks before last frost or as soon as soil can be worked. For a fall harvest, start transplants 2-3 months before last frost.
This cool-season crop grows best when daytime temperatures are in the 60s F. Grow in both spring and fall, but avoid mid-summer crops because broccoli lacks tolerance to extreme heat and may bolt prematurely.
Prevent viral and fungal broccoli diseases by practicing crop rotation, using sterile starting mixes if transplanting, and cleaning up the garden area well after each season.
Harvest the main head when it is 4" to 6" in diameter. This will encourage large numbers of side florets. Once main head is cut, side shoots can be harvested for several weeks.
The part of broccoli that we eat is actually the unopened flower buds. If you harvest broccoli after the yellow flowers begin to show it’s too late for the best flavor and the plant may stop producing altogether, however, the flowers are irresistible to honeybees and other benefical insects.